Course Title: Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: VART5797C

Course Title: Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6088 - Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting

Course Contact : Program administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact Email:Brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: George Viscas
Email: george.viscas@rmit.edu.au


 

Nominal Hours: 70

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive view of screen language, by researching and critically analysing the history and theory of screenwriting in order to inform the artistic practice of students of professional screenwriting. 

 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUVCOR13A Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice

Element:

1. Research history and theory.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Discuss research ideas with appropriate people and identify implications for own arts practice
1.2 Identify and explore potential new and alternative sources of information that could be relevant to own arts practice
1.3 Use formal and informal research techniques appropriately to access information
1.4 Organise research materials and findings for current and future use

Element:

2. Link research to artistic practice

Performance Criteria:

2.1Evaluate information in the context of own arts practice and the work of others
2.2Assess ways in which different aspects of history and theory may be used, adapted and challenged
2.3Distil key themes, messages and positions to assist in clarity of thought
2.4Develop conclusions on research findings in consultation with appropriate people as required

Element:

3. Update and maintain knowledge of trends within own area of artistic practice.

Performance Criteria:

3.1Identify and use opportunities to update and expand own knowledge of history and theory
3.2Incorporate and integrate knowledge into own arts practice
3.3Seek feedback on the quality of research methodology and outcomes and note areas for future improvement


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course, you will be able to inform your own artistic practice through a knowledge of the history and theory of screenwriting.


Details of Learning Activities

You learn through:
1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• industry speakers
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• reading of excerpts of writings and set texts to provide examples of writing elements
• workshopping of students’ own projects
• analysis/critique of writings of students’ choice

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study


Teaching Schedule

Week startingClass contentAssessment dueElements
Week 1
 
 
Introduction: Course Outline.
[Assessment Brief 1 and Assessment Brief 2]
Early Film History: Lumiere Brothers, Georges Melies and D.W. Griffith.
Introduction to Screen Language: Production and Story Elements.
 CUVCOR13A

1,2,3
 
Week 2
 
German Expressionism and Russian School of Montage. Discussing the characteristics of these periods in film history and key contribution of selected filmmakers. Screening excerpts from selected films. Class discussion and exercises.
Structuring the Narrative: David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction: ‘Narrative as a Formal System’.
Monitoring progress and consultations of
Assessment1.
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3
 
Week 3
 
Classical Hollywood Era: Introduction. Discussing historical and cultural contexts, production and distribution patterns during the Classic Hollywood Era (1916-1960). Screen excerpts from selected films. Class exercises focusing on story elements. Presentations.Monitoring progress and consultations of Assessment1.CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 4
 
Genre: Introduction: Discussing historical and cultural contexts, production and distribution patterns during the Classic Hollywood Era (1916-1960). Screen excerpts from selected genre films. Class Exercises focusing on story elements. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentations (ongoing).
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 5
 
Romantic Comedy: Examining generic conventions of Romantic Comedy. Screen excerpts from selected romantic comedies. Class discussion and exercises. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentations (ongoing).
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 6
 
Film Noir: Examining generic conventions of Film Noir. Screen excerpts from selected noir films. Class discussion and exercises. Presentations.
Screening Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944).
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 7
 
Focus on Story Elements:
Comparative analysis and discussion of story elements in the published script and selected scenes (including alternative ending) in Double Indemnity. Presentations.
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3
 
Week 8
 
Focus on Thriller:
Screen excerpts from selected films by Alfred Hitchcock. Class discussion of Opening and Closing Sequences, and Patterns of Development in Hitchcock’s films. Class exercises. Presentations. [Brief 2]
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 9
 
French New Wave: The Auteur Theory: Introduction. The social, cultural and political contexts for the emergence of French New Wave and the key filmmakers. Screening excerpts from Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961) and 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1962). Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 10
 
The Hollywood New Wave and the ‘Unmotivated Hero’: Screening excerpts from the key films of New Hollywood. Exercises focus on analysis of themes, discussion of narrative structure, and compiling character profiles. PresentationsAssessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3
 
Week 11
 
The Mastery of Style and Subtext in French Genre Film: Melville’s Stories of Honour Amongst the Thieves and Irony and Coincidence in Chabrol’s Bourgeois Thrillers: Excerpts from selected films. Exercises focusing on the role of generic conventions, selection of locations, props, and establishing characters using language of silence. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week  12Neo-Noir: Postmodern Joviality and Con-Games: Screening excerpts from selected neo-noir films. Analysis of the narrative, dialogue/subtext and organization of time in neo-noir films. Class exercises: Analysing dialogue/subtext and discussing and attempting alternatives. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3
 
Week 13
 
In the Archive of Cinematic Memories: Film Essays of Chris Marker. Excerpts from La Jette (1962) and Sans Soleil (1982). Class discussion and exercises focusing on the use of voice over and still images. Das Neue Kino: Discussion of work of key filmmakers and screening excerpts from their work. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 14
 
Generic Crossovers: A Disarming Comedy About a Murder Case. Screening Fargo (Joel Cohen, 1996): Comparative analysis of selected scenes in the script and the film, focusing on structure, characters, dialogue and subtext. Presentations.

Assessment 2 due

CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 15
 
Documentary Film History: Introduction. Screening excerpts and discussing the treatment of documentary subjects and different narrative and production devices used in five documentary modes. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 16
 
New Hong Kong Cinema: Elegiac Romances of Wong-kar-Wai. Screen excerpts from Wong-Kar-wai’s films. Exercises and class discussion focusing on repetition as the key poetic motif in Wong’s work. Presentations.
The Poetics of New Iranian Cinema: Screening excerpts from the films of Abbas Kiarostami and Jafari Panahi. Discussing the seemingly naturalist plot and character development in contemporary Iranian cinema. Presentations.
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

 
Week 17
 
Assessment Week - No classes 
 
 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Recommended Reading:
While there are no prescribed texts it is strongly recommended you make use of the recommended references


References

A list of recommended reading and viewing will be up on blackboard


Other Resources

You require access to a computer and to the internet for this course


Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through the application of learned skills and insights to your writing tasks.


Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.

Assignment 1- Research Assignment and Presentation:

For this assignment you will research and focus on one story element in a selected film text and present outcomes of your research. Due on date to be arranged with teacher. (30% )

Assignment 2- Genre Assignment:

For this assignment you will research, analyse and discuss a selected film genre (analytical report) and complete a scene adhering to the selected generic conventions (practical exercise).   Due October 15  (70%)

Grades used in this course are as follows:

80 – 100% HD High Distinction
70 – 79% DI Distinction
60 – 69% CR Credit
50 – 59% PA Pass
Under 50% NN Fail

For further details on these assessment tasks and the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.
 


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are
available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Submission of Assessment Tasks
You are required to submit all assessment tasks in hard copy with a completed School of Media and Communication cover sheet. You are expected to keep a copy of all assignments submitted.

Late Submissions
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension before that due date..
Please refer to the course blackboard site for information on late submissions and on applying for an extension.

Feedback
You will receive both spoken and written feedback on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity is about the honest presentation of your academic work. Presenting work that fails to acknowledge other people’s work within yours can compromise academic integrity. For further information on academic integrity and plagiarism, please refer to the following URL. http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=kkc202lwe1yv

Special Consideration Policy
Please refer to the following URL for information on applying for special consideration:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1

Course Overview: Access Course Overview